Around 8 pm, our casa turns into a mad house. With 4 kids, the energy level seems to peak around this time and of course this is the exact hour in which we need them to close their sweet little eye for the night.
If it was only as easy as “Kids, time for bed”. Ha, not quite.
With each child, once their (somewhat normal) sleeping patterns becomes established, we introduced a bedtime routine. For our older kids, it was around the 8 month mark. We will be introducing this soon to our baby Zeke. His schedule is still a bit funny compared to the older kids.
Our doctor had recommended this with our first child. She thrived on a schedule. When we had our second, he was easy – no schedule required but this routine helped wind him down and prepare for sleep. Now that we have 4 kids, we couldn’t imagine night without this routine.
Establishing a Bedtime Routine
Here are the nightly steps we take with each kid. Again, with multiple kids this is work, but the benefits are so worth it.
While every family is different in their approach, this is what works for us.
We start with any hygiene related items that need to be taken care of. Bath time, brushing teeth, combing hair is included in this.
While I would love to lie to you and say we read to our kids every night, it just isn’t the case. We do try to do this a few times a week.
Playing with the Lights
The older kids no longer do this, but is some silly thing my husband does with the babies before placing them in their cribs. He takes them to the light switch (we have dimmers) and let’s them turn out the lights.
After playing with the lights, we put the kids in bed for prayer.
We have a strong Christian faith and have made it a point to introduce our children to prayer at an early age. Our toddler, as wild as he can be now remains silent and screams AMAN – (aman is the 2 year old version of amen).
Prayer time also gives us a time to talk about any problems of the day and to give our children a resource on how to deal with those issues. As babies, this isn’t so much the case – but as they grow older it has been essential in problem resolution.
Each child has a different lullaby that we sing to them each night. As silly as it may sound, our 8 year old does not consider herself “tucked-in” until she has been sung to. It’s truly become apart of her shutdown routine.
While there are no blankets with the babies, with the older kids we make sure they are covered up and comfortable to whatever the temperature is.
Yes, each night this is done 3, soon to be 4 times.
Stay tuned: Next we’ll talk about the benefits of a bedtime routine.
Do You Have a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby?